A three day flood simulation exercise unexpectedly turned into the real thing on Thursday night as rain-swollen rivers broke their banks in many parts of the Czech Republic. Firefighters and police were out in force in Moravia and Silesia where several villages had to be evacuated overnight and large parts of south Bohemia remain on high flood alert.
Thousands of people in the Czech Republic spent a sleepless night as torrential rain and high winds swept the country, swelling rivers, uprooting trees and bringing down electricity lines. Towns and villages in north and south Moravia are on high-degree flood alert and a state of emergency has been declared in the Jesenik region in the north-eastern part of the country. The head of the local fire fighters said his men had been out all night pumping water from cellars and evacuating people from their homes.
Two hundred people were evacuated from their homes in the Bruntal area and firefighters had to deal with dozens of emergencies, removing fallen trees and high voltage power lines. Electricity supplies were cut off to 9,000 homes and, fearing the worst, many people spent the night filling sandbags and erecting barriers along the riverbank. Memories of the 2002 floods, which devastated large parts of the country, are still fresh and the inhabitants of flood prone areas now fear the worst. In Prague -which has not been affected - the sun came out on Friday morning but in the southern and eastern parts of the country people are still waiting for a let-up.
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